18 04 2008

Well, I was derailed in my conviction to write more by realizing on Wednesday that neither my Monday or Tuesday posts had published.  I blame faulty internet connections.  Anywho, it kind of deflated my blogging spirit.  But I’m back now and with some fun news.

Say hello to the new part time receptionist for AMC 🙂  9 or 10 hours a week at $12/hr. and working mostly when I want too.  Not bad, not bad at all.

Also, I just finished my syntax class.  Now I just need to pound out the art lessons and I’ll officially graduate from college.

Wedding, stress, wedding, work, wedding, class, wedding, housework…  repeat as needed.


peanut butter and nutella cookies (cough, cough, Abby)

10 04 2008

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup nutella
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.  Set aside.

beat eggs in small bowl and add vanilla. Set aside.

In mixer, cream butter than add sugars.  Blend.  Add peanut butter, nutella, and egg mixture.  Blend.  Gradually add flour mixture until throughly mixed.  Chill for 30 minutes.  portion them onto baking trays as you would regular peanut butter cookies.  Bake for 17-20 minutes at 350, or if you have a completely fritzy oven than take the slightly burnt batch out after 13 minutes because your oven went up to 400 when you had it set to 250.  Grrr….

Mikey wanted to make cookies with me tonight 🙂  So adorable.

Wedding planning is becoming more stressful which makes me sad because I want this to be a joyful experience, not one that stresses me out.  But I think my class is actually the thing really stressing me out.  I have a test tomorrow that I wouldn’t feel ready for no matter how much I studied.

I did it!

9 02 2008

Another art lesson done.

This frickin’ class that’s been eating at me for almost 2 years now is just one sliver smaller.  And I wrote an entry paragraph for the next lesson.

That’s right, 2 years.  I’ve wasted emotional turmoil and a whole lot of money because I couldn’t just buckle down and complete the stupid thing. Silly right!

I don’t know what is was exactly about my last semester of college, but it ruined me academically.  Sure, I’m making excuses for myself, but this class hasn’t been hanging over my head for so long simply because I can be lazy and unmotivated, although those are certainly factors.  I piled too much on my plate that semester and when I couldn’t cope, my grades suffered the most.  My professors extended a whole lot of grace to me then, and I can’t thank them enough.  But the fact remains, when I think about writing a paper or reading a text book my blood pressure goes up, I get anxious and I feel awful about myself.  Somehow studying has become wrapped up in all the emotions I felt that semester:  fear, rejection, shame, weakness, and self-loathing.  I’ve gotten away from those feelings, but not in this area.  I guess there are still beasts to be slain.

Crossing paths

6 05 2007

Mike and I meet in Chemistry lab. The first day he turned to me and asked if I wanted to be his partner. I couldn’t figure out how he knew my name. I figured it was due to the fact that I was a senior and in a small school like Goshen most people are at least aware of everyone else. We just happened to be standing next to each other, otherwise it would have never happened that way. I don’t think a choice of where to stand has ever affected me so much. I will always be awed by how our getting to know each other was due to freakish chance. But I guess alot of people come into our lives that way. Just not usually with me. I tend to know people through predetermined connections.

What this post is really about though is the fact that Mike and I had a number of chances to meet before this point, but we never did and I think our relationship is largely due to that fact. I wouldn’t have seen his value if I had met him any earlier.

When we were very young, ages 4-8 (me) and 2-6 (him) we went to the same fourth of July fireworks display in the same park in Syracuse. Now this park isn’t very big. A pavilion, one play set, some lawn and a very small beach. Most likely we would have been playing on the play set together. What if we had met then? What if our parents had met and become friends. It wouldn’t have been unlikely with the way my dad likes to meet new people, and there would have been plenty of connections. There was the Mennonite connections, and I think by that point my parents might have been renting our old house to Mike’s aunt, although that may have come a few years later. Regardless, if I had gotten to know him at all at that stage I’m sure I would have remembered him a little. I have a great memory for faces. I’ve been able to recognize a few old elementary classmates around town that I haven’t seen since we were 8 or 9. So I probably would have noticed him around campus when he first started at Goshen. I might have even introduced myself and asked him if he remembered me. But he would have been a freshman and I would have been dating Jesse and I just wouldn’t have seen him that way.

Or nine years later. When I was a senior in high school, I almost moved back to Goshen with my parents and I would have gone to Mike’s high school. In a school of several hundred I would have at least known who he was. But he would have been a freshman and I would have been a senior and he would have been way too young for me. And he would have always been little Mikey to me. We probably would have been in a play or musical together. That would have been fun, but he would never really grow up in my eyes.

Mike is friends with Abby’s little brother, and Abby recently came across some picture from our sophomore year of Mike hanging out at her house. What if I had been over that day? Jess was. I could very well have been too. Again with the young thing. He was only a senior in High School.

Around that time we were attending the same church. Not a large church mind you, give or take 100 people on any given Sunday so it’s kind of surprising that we never meet there. After we started dating, Mike remembered that he had noticed me there once when I went up to make an announcement. I had recently shorn my hair off and must have been wearing ambiguous clothes because at first he wasn’t quite sure of my sex. Once he determined that I was a girl, he figured I was a lesbian (My home church is openly welcoming of homosexuals so that’s not a huge leap to make, although a bit stereotypical) Talk about your first impressions.

Life is a tricky thing. Change one strand and everything could be different. Yes, Heroes got me thinking, but this has been on my mind for a while. Thank God for Chemistry.

My self evaluation for SST

5 11 2005

Music: 懂事 by 孫燕姿 (if that shows up as ???? it’s because it’s Chinese)

this was an assignment for SST, and I’ve decided to post it, because it gives some overarching insights into my experience. It’s long, so only read it if you’re really interested. Love Steph

1 Academic
a) Group learning activities:

The group learning activities was one of the areas that I put in a good amount of energy, but could have put more in. On a scale from one to ten I’d give it a 7. I did all the reading, so that was something that I put a fair amount of energy into, and between that and the lectures feel that I learned some good foundational knowledge on which to build my personal interactions. Some of the lectures were difficult to concentrate in, and I should have worked harder on focusing on those, but some I was completely engaged, and most lectures I asked at least one question. During the field trips I tried to spend time learning from the guide, or material presented to us, and also taking time to be by myself or in a small group to really take in what was around us. I also participated in one of the optional fieldtrips. I think that Red China Blues and River Town both stood out as tools that I steeped myself in. The video during mayterm also stands out to me as does the many field trips that weren’t just tourist traps, but a glimpse into China’s past as well as the current Chinese view of themselves. No wonder they are such a proud people!

b) Individual learning activities:

I tried as much as possible to vary my journaling so as to capture SST in a variety of writing mediums and moods. I tried to pinpoint major events and emotions as well as reflect on my learning and general thoughts about China and the world in general. There were weeks were I put the journaling off until the end, and wish I had spent more time on them, but there are other weeks that I gave myself a good amount of time to put myself down on paper. My project started a bit late, but I feel that the project that I will present is not my whole project. My whole project involves the interviews of the artists I did for my first project, the time I’ve spent just watching the painters at the market, the painting class I’ve been involved in, the dance class I’m in, the legends I’ve had told to me and written down, the poems I’ve read and written, and then finally, the songs I’m learning. I think that I’ve tried to delve into the culture and learn about ancient traditions, but also see how those traditions are used and modified today.

c) Chinese Language:

I did not do well in language class. I have trouble concentrating; I have trouble finding the motivation to study. I don’t seek opportunities to use my Chinese (except with the occasional child I see). I’m one of the poorest Chinese speakers in the group. I just don’t get it. That said, last night a bunch of the girls went out with our Chinese dance instructor who doesn’t speak English, and I was so excited to try and communicate with her in my limited Chinese plus lots of gestures. I loved it. I’m also fairly competent in using survival Chinese. I feel that in some ways with my SST experience, it seemed inevitable that one area would fall by the wayside of sorts, and although it seems a bit cocky, and others may not agree, Chinese seemed like the best choice. I hope that in the future I can put more effort into the language, and return to China.

2. Intercultural/Interpersonal:

I see this as my strongest area. I have poured myself into getting to know people. I’m still making new contacts. I meet Tony at English corner on Tuesday and went to lunch with him yesterday. I’m getting to know Tim better from painting class. He’s one of the teacher’s assistants, and he wants me to come to a party he’s throwing on Friday. During the Halloween party I made myself available for, and sought out interactions with the Chinese students that came, not just the ones I already knew. I’m still hanging out with my roommates, and I feel that I’ve really started to make a true friend of Eunice.
One of the experiences that really stands out to me is going home with Eunice. I had the chance to see her home life on a daily basis, have fun hanging out with her family and spend a significant amount of time with her. Another is my time with my roommates. We had long conversations about relationships, cultural differences and just life in general. The wedding I attended was also a formative event for cultural learning.
The most difficult thing has been the time that it takes to get to know anyone here. It’s not just the language, which does play a large role in the difficulty level, but also the cultural differences, or perceived differences. I know how to get to know someone in the states, I’m just skimming the surface of knowledge as to how one goes about getting to know another person in China. It’s hard, but worth the effort.
The area that I failed in as far as this category goes is my host family. I’m not completely to blame for this, but I could have put more effort into contacting them again, and making it clear that I did want to get to know them, and be involved in their family.

3. English Teaching

I’ve improved so much as a teacher from the first day of teaching. I started out with good ideas, but I didn’t know how to adapt those to my student’s needs, or learning style. While I’m still not teaching the way their Chinese teachers probably do, I’ve found a way to take a few steps their direction while still trying to give the students as many speech tools as possible. I still have a long way to go, and I’ve had lessons that bombed because the students just didn’t care about what I was talking about, but the last few lessons have been wonderful tools for me to learn about China, for them to talk about topics they care about, and for them to see a bit how a native speaker would go about forming arguments, questions, etc. I found that flexibility is key and that there are many teaching tools that are common place in the US, but not really usable or difficult to use in China, like “raise your hand if….”

4. Personal Areas

Obviously, SST has been strongly shaped by my break up with Jesse. I don’t even know where to begin to talk about how that’s affected it yet. In every way really. I am proud of how I’ve done in SST. I’m proud that I’ve learned as much as I have. I found that I am a strong woman. Through contact with other religions and religious practices, I’ve found that I am passionate about my faith. Through learning about another culture, I see the world even more as a global community with global concerns and needs and characteristics. This is something that I want to explore more deeply throughout my life. I found that going overseas is really important to me. This is an important discovery because it was something that I almost gave up.


10 12 2004

music- I’m humming “goodnight my someone” from the Music Man 🙂

Well, so I haven’t written in a really looooong time 😦 but I’m going to make up for that over Christmas.

I’m in Chicago with Abby, Becca, Meryl, Thushan, and of course Jess because we’re at her house. Meryl and Thushan are going to Colorado tomorrow. Let’s see, the semester ended ok…. didn’t do so well in my classes, but it’s over and I can try again next semester. I still don’t know about Expos but I figure I got a C. I’ve never gotten so many C’s in my life and I didn’t even take that large of a course load. I’m trying to look on the bright side of things though and realize that I can do better and that I really want to do better so maybe that will help.

It’s been really fun being up here with everyone. I have such amazing friends! I love cuddling with Abby because she likes to joke about me being her cat. But now I get to call her my little puppy! today she was chasing squirrels, so she brought it on herself. We’ve been watching movies and we went to the aquarium and then to a Thai restaurant downtown. It was SO good. Chicago really can be a pretty place in some parts. I think it would be nice to live up here for a year or two, maybe on the outskirts like Evanston or something.

I’m so glad it’s the break!!!! I need some time to relax. And I’m going to get to do some of the things I’ve been looking forward to like learning to quilt and reading for pleasure. I’m also glad that Abby’s going to be around because she’s going to be in Indy this next semester and I’m really going to miss her. Speaking of which, I’m going to be Meryl’s roommate 🙂 I’m really excited about that. I didn’t really like being in my room alone. I have this thing where I don’t really like to be alone at all. Some people have to get away from people, I have to be with them. Anyways, I think it’s going to be really fun.

Well, Happy December everyone. 🙂

Shrub and My Future

6 11 2004

Music: None, Jessica my prospective is sleeping…..shhhhhhh 🙂

explanation of title…… think another name for Bush 😉

So Bush won……. tears, sadness, woe….. ‘nough said

Jesse and I were in the the Elkhart Truth 😀 Hopefully it wont be the last time we’re pictured together in the newspaper 😉 Ummm…… I’m still working too much. I went to the play tonight. Really good. Anna did an excellent job. Very interesting story, very sad.

So here’s the biggest news with me right now. I think I’m going to be an Interdisciplinary major with focuses in ASL, TESOL, and Sociology/Anthropology. I’m excited about this and scared about this. I’m morning the lose of security post grad, but glad that I feel like this is the best fit for me right now. And I can always come back and finish up with ASL. Well….. I can try. See the biggest problem that I’m beginning to face is the fact that I have a fairly slow processing time. This may be something that I can train to be faster at, but it’s also possible that I’ll never be fast enough, and just don’t have the ability to be an interpreter. Although there are still things that I could do within the interpreting field most likely, like interpreting for plays that I have memorized etc. Things that I don’t have to process how to interpret in the moment. While I realize that I’m making an informed decision and that one of the biggest reasons for the decision is this thing that I cannot really control, it still feels kind of like failing, like giving up, like just one more thing that I couldn’t do just because I didn’t try hard enough, didn’t give enough energy too. But I have hope that this is the right decision and well….. I just pray that it’s the right

Life Struggles

2 11 2004

Music: Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer

So the weekend was interesting. Lots of little kids. Trying to communicate with all of them when some can’t hear and others can’t sign. Very interesting. How do you discipline or lay down rules properly that way!? But hey, I got $25 and possibly a month long job this summer taking care of 5 kids in Jamaica. Getting paid to spend a month in Jamaica! Sounds good to me 🙂

So I’m not really doing all that well right now……I’m struggling with my classes and realizing that I don’t have the ASL competency to do well in my Interpreting classes. The only way to gain it is through immersion type experiences, but I don’t have very good access to those and I just don’t have time with how I live to do them. I also just don’t use my time well. I…… well, I’m just going through a rough spot right now I guess. I don’t like being so depressing (I generally think of myself as a happy person) and I don’t think that I have things worse than other, I’m just struggling. I think the worst part is that I have this idea that if I was just a better person I could handle this stuff. And then people tell me how strong I am or what a good person I am, and I just can’t bring myself to believe it. Maybe I shouldn’t be writing this, but…… I hate how I’ve been feeling the last few weeks, and this is not an uncommon experience, I think it happens every semester just about now. I’m just not mature enough, or dedicated enough or strong enough or disciplined enough……

I’m starting to consider doing an interdisciplinary degree instead of interpreting…. hummm…. is that giving up, or picking the better option? I’ve never really felt a huge drive to be an interpreter. I want to work with ASL, and I want to work with Deaf people and I want to make a difference, but I’ve never really felt this big need to be an interpreter. I get excited when I see a really good interpretation, but I think that’s more on the linguistic level.

I’m Done!

22 09 2004

It’s 3 in the morning…… I have problems…….

Last post from my Xanga account

13 09 2004

Monday, September 13, 2004

for future reference, my blog doesn’t have spell check ok, I can’t comment on that face every time I use it……..or can I…….It’s my blog I can……comment? if I want to…….whatever, yeah, I’m tired!

All of this to say, if you have a problem with my spelling…….DEAL!

Music~ Gina Holsopple

Ok, if I was barely hanging on before, than today was my sprawled on the floor twitching mode. I definitely ran on pure adrenilin from about 11 in the morning till now. That’s when the “giddy because I’m tired” stage hit. I had been working the coffee bar since 6:30. But……..

I’m dropping TESOL as a major, I’m dropping TESOL as a major, HALLELUIA! I’m dropping TESOL as a major!!!!!!!!!

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! I am so increadibly happy about this. I feel like a 200 pound weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

In other news I’m not doing NATS Because I not going to miss the Assembly church retreat. I’m missing NATS, an ICRID meeting in Indy and a Deaf film festival in Chicago so I can go. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many conflicting things at one time before! hehe….. I think I put that there just because I like that face so much.

And last but not least…………….

Love is not something you do,

Love is a way of being.

And more than that.

It is simply being,

Being with another person, however they may be.

Holding no judgments, having no agendas,

No desire to control,

No need to prove your love,

No intrusion upon their soul.

Nothing but a total acceptance of their being,

Born of your acceptance of yours.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

today is going to be interesting! I’m exausted…..that’s what late night discussions (and I mean LATE night) can do to you. I have church in a bit, then cooking for JoAnne’s Birthday, then the party then a coffee shop meeting, then a dorm floor meeting, then somewhere in here I’m going to have to do 3 hours worth of homework, then I work from 6:30-11………hummmm…..can we say barely hanging on?

Friday, September 10, 2004

This morning I was awakened by my radio as usual, only today coutry music did not greet my ears, but what sounded like desperate voices over a transitor radio. In the first few moments I thought I was still dreaming, then I began to be frightened that something bad had happened. Finally, an announcer’s voice came on and the eirey music set in. I relaxed, but in my fully awake state as I listened to the way things were phrased, the way the entire thing was presented, I began to feel upset. One statement stood out to me “The United States basked in silent innocence” Innocence. Innocence! No wonder my generation doesn’t realize the true nature of their own country. Not only is it hidden from them, but they are ingrained with false concepts of the State’s goodness. Now I am just sad.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Tea Time in Stephanie’s relaxation haven

Friday at 10:30! Come join…….sorry boys, girls only…..